athenian thesis human nature



Rather, all human beings are compelled by a necessity of their nature to want what is good for themselves, and pursue the power that is in their interest, without regard to justice. All are compelled to care more about self interest than justice. The Melians are not morally superior to the Athenians—they are simply weaker.
Passages, they argue, such as the Plague at Athens and the Civil War at Corcyra, both of which reveal human nature at its darkest, undoubtedly shaped Hobbes's own understanding and conception of man, the most comprehensive account of which appears in the first part of his most famous and mature work, Leviathan.
Hobbes was heavily influenced by the former's account of human nature, provided in his. History of the Peloponnesian War. In fact, many scholars (in both political theory and international relations) have been keen to point out just this. Passages, they argue, such as the Plague at Athens and the Civil War at Corcyra, both of
The moderation of the natural human desire for power requires the institutionalization of this artificial rule of law that protects individuals from each other. However, human nature can regress into anarchy if the polis undergoes institutional failure. This is demonstrated in the cases of the Athenian Plague and the Civil War in
... simply pursue their innate “human nature.” This triad of motivations in particular deeply impressed Hobbes (who published a translation of Thucydides' History), and they reappear in the much-studied thirteenth chapter of Leviathan as “competition,” “diffidence,” and “glory.” The Athenian thesis has attracted the attention of
1.75.5). The “Athenian thesis” articulated at 1.76 presupposes a constant human nature. If the Athenians have acquired an empire, they have only exhibited “human behavior” (1.76.2: anthrôpeios tropos), and no one has any right to quarrel with them on these grounds, least of all the Spartans, who follow the same principles
to suppose that the plague overcame humanity and the behavior of the plague-stricken went beyond the realm of acting according to human nature. The plague narrative describes the ghastly end point of a contin- uum of behavior whose middle range is, for Thucydides, "human nature." For Thucydides, the selves that
T. uses the figures of Diodotus and Hermocrates to refine the Athenian thesis. Given human nature, states will tend to: 1) pursue their own good; 2) confuse that which is truly necessary (safety) with the lesser goals of honor and profit; 3) overreach themselves; 4) overrate the justice of their own actions; 5) expect the gods to
of the Peloponnesian war. The primary claim of the dissertation is that Thucydides' account of the breakdown of the peace must be understood by grasping how the characters of Athens and Sparta contribute to the outbreak of the war and, crucially, how Athens and Sparta differently express human nature. This is the case
44 In Thucydides, as in the prior tradition, greed derives from our physicality as human beings, and it is therefore a passion that potentially affects all human beings. At the same ... Sparta's characteristic restraint, it should be stressed, seems to undermine the "Athenian thesis."46 If the Spartans share the same human nature

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